1. Yea, all things which come of the earth, in the season thereof, are made for the benefit and the use of man, both to please the eye and to gladden the heart;
  2. Yea, for food and for raiment, for taste and for smell, to strengthen the body and to enliven the soul.
Doctrine and Covenants, 59:18-19

As I begin to write on this wonderful subject my memory and my heart fill with feelings that have come into my heart when I have seen the beauties of the world. As I have seen a delicate Tiger Lily or stood on a high ridge and viewed the vast expanse of the Sierra Madre mountains. I have had the words come warmly into my full heart, "Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior is the great creator of all things and he did it out of love for us". Many times I understood that these revelations came to me as words put into my mind and heart by the whisperings of the holy Ghost. I will attempt to write of just a few of the occasions when my heart and mind were receptive to the joyous feelings of revelation and the warm strengthening of my conviction that I am a son of God and that Jesus is the only begotten of the Father and by Him all things were made that were made.

My brother Claudius and I went on many hunts together and would share our feelings and wonder about the beauty of the mountains and the glory of the wildlife that live out their lives filling the measure of their creation. Our desire to share all of this with our families grew. We made plans for such a trip using the excuse that we wanted to take Grandma fishing and include all of our families. This however was Claudius and Nelle and family and Naoma and I and our family. We wanted Grandma to go with us even though she didn't like fish and didn't like to fish.

We talked it up within our families and included all of the little children in the excitement of packing and getting ready for the anticipated week long trip into the distant and remote canyons of the Sierra Madre. Karl was our littlest and was a little over two years, then Tracy was a very active four year old. Jenene was our beautiful little curly headed six year old. Kiko at thirteen, Mary at eleven Susie at nine and our Sammy at eight were getting big enough to share in making the comfortable beds in our old Chevy pickup with a heavy green shiny canvas stretched tight over the bows of the "Redilas". Soon all was ready so that the kids could either lay in the back on the nice bed or climb through the front bow into the basket over the cab of the truck where they could ride in the wind on a board seat placed there for that purpose.

Monday morning dawned bright and sunny and found us all loading up the trucks. Excitement and anticipation was written on each little face. I was excited that all of our children were going to go with us . Naoma and I sat in the front seat of the truck. Our little blonde Sammy would soon be sleeping comfortably in the back of the truck in the shade of the canvas cover. We were not worried about Karl because both Kiko and Tracy would take care of him. They were always worried about the safety of the other kids. The rest of the kids would be changing back and forth between the soft bed in the back and the seat in the basket over the cab. They had padded the board seat with a quilt and were riding comfortably over the cab in the open air. Grandma was riding with Claudius and Nelle and their family.

We passed through Colonia Juarez and crossed the long flat. Soon we were climbing up the old grade. Every thing was fresh and green and the wild flowers were blooming on each side of the road. The ground was still wet from the recent rain and in some places a little trickle of water was running down the road. We stopped high up on the grade to enjoy the view of the big valley below. Mary and Susie were eager to show Grandma their mountain. They called eagerly to Grandma pointing across the deep canyon to the mountain across the way, "See grandma we named it the Taffy Candy Mountain". Grandma giggled and said, "it surely looks like Taffy Candy".

The girls knew about Taffy Candy because they had often helped Grandma make her famous pink white and green Taffy Candy at Christmas time.

We traveled on over the top of the mountain and down through the Park. Here Claudius stopped and as we all gathered around he told us of the big Scout Jamboree that had been held there when he was a scout. Over a thousand scouts assembled from New Mexico and Texas for a week of Scout activities and camp in that beautiful park like canyon with a clear stream of water running through it. He told us of the giant pines and the belt high grass that grew there then before the logging of forest.

When we came to Arch Flat we stopped and most of us climbed up the Cliff dwelling that is on the east side of that beautiful place. The children were excited to go into the little key hole doors and look out of the little windows. It seemed to them like their little doll house and they wondered at the smallness of the rooms and the doors and windows.

We traveled on through Strawberry and took the left fork to go through Hop Valley on to Garcia. The main road at that time was well kept and we could travel easily along the graded road through the beautiful Pine Forests. We came down into Pea Cock Canyon and turned into some long beautiful meadows with a little clear cold stream running through them. We stopped to rest and get a good cold drink of water. Grandma got out and walked into the little meadow where there was a single beautiful Tiger lily in full bloom among the waxy star flowers. As she stood admiring these most rare and beautiful flowers the children gathered around her silently watching to see what Grandma was doing. She stood silent for a long moment then stooped and plucked the graceful Lily and clutched it to her with tears in her eyes. Probably remembering some time long ago when her Dear Husband Claude shared these blooms with her. My heart was full of gratitude for that occasion and the feelings it invoked.

We traveled on through La Mesa and on to Chuhuichipa. We drove around the town letting the children see the old brick homes and the Church house with it's bell in it's little tower on top of the roof . We turned north and went the full length of the beautiful Valley of the Mist. We traveled through El Norte where the Saw Mill was sawing logs. On the west of the Saw Mill the pond was full of logs waiting to be sawed.

We traveled on to North Valley where a few years before I had attended a Rodeo given by D. S. Brown on his farm where he had his home at that time. The road turned west skirting the fields and house of the Old North Valley home. Soon we came to a little side road where we turned off onto the road that crossed a big mesa covered with dense Pine forest. We soon dropped into a beautiful high meadow. In this meadow was a spring of water that ran across the road and down into the Canyon. This meadow and stream is called La Radiola. Emilio Burgos was camped in a little cabin on a little rise on the north side of the Meadow. He had come out to get his cowboy and animals ready for our use. We visited with him for awhile. He was pleased to see the trucks full of children and family. He said that he would send the Animals over in the morning. With the saddles we had there would be enough for most of us to ride.

We decided to camp in the nearest campsite to the Chuchupate Canyon where we intended to fish. We pulled off the road into our campsite on the north side of the little cold clear stream in the Canyon. We all got out grateful to stretch after the long day of travel.

First we put up our two tarps and kitchen flys then I built a fire to draw the kids together and make our camp seem like home. We found a level spot for Grandma's tent and pitched it complete with rain fly. We put in a four inch sleeping pad and made the bed with sheets and a nice heavy quilt placing her pillow at the head. Mary and Susie ran to bring Grandma to show her the tent and bed for her.

I set up a tent for Mary, Susie and Jenene which they could share easily. We were using our blue J. C. Penney three man tents which we used for many years with great success.

After all of the tents were up and all had their own place to sleep, we unloaded the food boxes and began to fix supper. Dark came quickly in the canyon and after supper and prayer the children were anxious to try out their beds in their snug tents. I could hear the zip as they closed first the outer tent flap down the middle then closing the bottom from each side. Then the zip, zip as they closed the inside screen in the same way. Here we were with all of our little family snugged down for the night, camped in this beautiful place with the wonderful days before us. I don't remember one word of complaint or criticism in all that long day of travel. Naoma and I said goodnight to all and turned out the gas lantern, crawled into our little tent and found our comfortable bed. My heart was filled with gratitude for my wonderful wife and our children. I thanked the Lord for our safe arrival and for Claudius and his family to share with us this wonderful experience.

The next morning as I sensed the first light creep into our tent I got up quietly and dressed quickly. I took my 3006 Rifle from behind the truck seat and walked away to the west up the steep canyon. As I climbed higher the light increased until it was quite light even in the narrow canyon where I was climbing. I neared the top walking slowly and watching carefully all around. I heard a snorting whistle of a big White Tailed Buck Deer. Suddenly he appeared about 50 yards away and stopped in the full light of the morning. He was looking all around trying to locate me in the shadow of the canyon below. I quickly aimed and shot. He disappeared for a few seconds then reappeared in the same place as before. I quickly aimed and shot again and again he disappeared. I walked cautiously up to where I had seen him and there lay two big bucks about ten feet from each other. They were beauties. Their coat was a dark gray almost blue at this time of year and they each had a full rack of four point horns that were even and shiny. I cleaned them and hung them in a tree near the trail. When I got back down to camp Claudius was up fixing breakfast and the cowboy had arrived with the riding animals. Naoma was up and I asked her to go with me help me bring in the Deer. We saddled up two mules and climbed up the steep trail to where I had hung the Deer in the tree. Naoma was surprised to see two Deer instead of the one she had expected. I got them tied one behind Naoma's saddle and one behind mine. The mules were accustomed to carrying Deer and did not give us any trouble getting them tied on. We were soon back to camp and I hung the Deer high in the deep shade of a big tree. Claudius sliced up some of the liver from one of the Deer and smothered it in onions for breakfast. I think Naoma and I and Claudius were the only ones that had liver and onions for breakfast.

After all had eaten and the dishes were washed and the camp was put up we started the business of getting everyone on a horse or a mule to go down the rugged canyon to where we could fish below the falls. We got Grandma on a pretty little pinto mule that was quiet, calm and willing. Grandma was grateful for this pretty little docile surefooted animal to ride. We were sure she would enjoy her ride with this little mule. That little mule knew she was carrying precious cargo and she went along at an easy gate without urging. She was careful to guard against getting to close to trees and protected Grandma's knees.

I asked the Cowboy to choose the tamest and the best mule he had and one that could not be frightened by noise or flapping clothing. One that would be steady at all times no matter what the rider did. He finally came forward with a brown mule that filled all of the requirements. As we got Aunt Nelle mounted on that mule the canyon rang with shrieks of terror and moans of protest accompanied with laughter as only Aunt Nelle can laugh. I was reminded of Uncle Loren, her father, as he yelled and carried on at the ball games.

When all were mounted we proceeded down the rugged canyon trail. Claudius and the cowboy were in the lead with Aunt Nelle close behind. I brought up the rear following Naoma. I will never forget the loud shrieks and the booming OOOOOH'S as aunt Nelle encountered terrifying and for her impassable places in the trail To this day I don't really know how much of her noise was from terror or how much was just putting on a show but I suspect that it was a bit of both.

The fishing was good in the beautiful little canyon down below the falls. I spent time helping our children to learn to fish. Naoma was content to take care of little Karl and watch the proceedings. Kiko was not interested in fishing so he rode his mule down the canyon as far as he could go and back around observing the efforts of the fishermen. About noon all seemed to get tired of fishing and Naoma passed out left over sandwiches from the day before. We sat in the cool of the canyon and listened to the rush of falling water of the falls. I explained to the children that this creek ran down the steep solid rock chute at the end of the canyon and tumbled into the Chuhuichupa River where it joined the waters of the big river and ran clear to the coast into the Obregon Dam in Sonora.

We enjoyed the ride up the beautiful canyon back to camp. The whoops and shrieks were less on the way back but Ant Nell vowed that we would never get her to do it again.

Back at camp we unsaddled the animals and the cowboy took them back to La Radiola for the night. I thanked the cowboy and told him that he had made it possible to have an unforgettable day here in the mountains. He said he would be back in the morning with the animals and that we were very welcome to use them all we wanted to.

Before he left I lowered one of the Deer and skinned it out before an interested audience of girls and boys. I cut of a leg of venison and gave it to the cowboy for his camp. I cut out the Tenderloins and proceeded to slice them up . I carefully dipped each piece in flour and salt and placed it on the grill to fry. By the time I was finished Susie and Roberta were the only interested watchers. They were sitting near the fire watching my every move. When I finished with the Venison I began a commentary. "Now we will get the fish that we have soaking in salt water and put them on the grill and fry them in plenty of butter so they will taste just right." Susie commented, "Grandma doesn't like fish". I told her that when I was a little boy Grandma would go ahead and fry the fish I brought home even though she hated the smell of fish. I told them that Grandma could have all of the venison that she wanted to eat and didn't need to even see or come close to the fish. While I was doing the Venison and the fish Claudius came and fixed the potatoes and gravy and baked hot Bisquits in the Dutch Oven and supper was ready. After the Blessing on the food everyone ate hungrily and commented on the good food. There is nothing like riding in the mountains all day to make the food taste good.

The next two days were enjoyed riding around the country. We took them all to ride over the beautiful Chuchupate Mesa and showed them where the trail goes down into the Toro Ranch. We even got a view of the Chuhuichupa River basin. In the hazy distance we could see into the North where the River turns in front of Bull Peak and runs to the west. As we took in this vast scene again my heart was full and I commented aloud, "What a magnificent creation the world is".

After Anthony was born Naoma said that now it was time for the family to go on a camping trip into the Sierra Madre because she had been confined carrying the Baby a long time. Easter week vacation came along and we invited my Cousin Leland Robinson and his family to go with us on a camping trip and to call a few Turkeys. They decided that only he and Marge would go so they packed their camp in their truck We made all of the preparations and loaded all of the camp outfit and all of the saddles and Aparejos.

We traveled together up the Tinaja wash and climbed out the Cuesta de Los Botes up onto the Norte. We crossed the Llanos Altos and traveled along the continental divide and dropped into El Gavilancito. As we passed the Villa Ranches we stopped to say hello to Chapo Villa. We passed the Whetten Ranch on the Gavilan and the old airstrip on the mesa. We passed through Los Chales and El Perdido and started the climb up onto the high ridge between Gavilan River, as it runs south, and the Hole on the West. About half way up the steep climb they dug out a place on the steep side hill. Big enough for a big truck to turn around in and go on up the hill. This loop is rather confusing because you turn around then there are two roads side by side and if you are not careful you take the wrong one and start back down. I know three cases when this happened and they went back until they recognized where they had been before and realized that they were going back the way they came.

It was a relief to finally climb out of that steep winding hillside onto the high level ridge road. Here we felt like we were on the top of the world. The road goes along this high ridge all of the way to where it turns to cross the Sonora line and drop into Tres Rios. In places we stopped to show our families where you could sit in the truck and look down into the Gavilan on the east and turn and look down into the vast Hole Country on the west. At this place the ridge was just wide enough for the road to go on safely. It dropped off steeply on both sides of the narrow ridge at this point.

Soon we came to the big Pine Tree with a big cross cut into it's side and turned off the road to the left into our Temporary camp. Emilio Burgos' Cowboy was there to meet us as was prearranged. The next two hours were spent in saddling all of the mounts and packing up the mules for the decent down the rugged steep trail to the Gavilan River below.

Leland and Marge decided that they would stay on top and hunt Turkey along the high mesa near the Sonora line. They would go down the next day to camp with us on the river.

Naoma got on her mule and I handed her our little Anthony who was only 5 weeks old at that time. She carefully slung him in a big Reboso and tied it around her shoulders. We all mounted up and followed the steep trail to the gate that closes the trail at the Campo Santo. The Campo Santo is an Ancient Burial Ground that is a level place on the very steep side hill. The level place is about an Acre in extent and is beautifully landscaped with the mounds of rock side by side marking the graves of the ancients.

We passed through the gate and began to descend the steep switch back trail. Naoma being used to riding these beauriful trails took everything in her stride or I should say in the stride of the mule and enjoyed the ride down. Soon we leveled off and went down the long ridge into the river. We passed the old abandoned Burgos Ranch house and went down river and found a perfect camping spot facing a nice swimming hole with a nice sandy beach.

We set up our camp at the foot of a low cliff at the bottom of the steep mountain. It made a snug area in the shade of the big trees that were spaced about right to tie our kitchen flys above the main camp area. We then set up the tents and made up the beds unrolling the covered foam pads so that they would have time to fluff out before night. The boys and girls rolled in big rocks to sit on around the fire. The girls took turns holding Anthony, even little Claudia took her turn holding her little brother while sitting in front of the fire watching supper being prepared. Kiko and the Cowboy cut a pole and tied it between two trees to hold the saddles and the Aparejos.

This was to be Kiko's last trip before going on his mission and he wanted to spend it on a good mule riding around the country and enjoying the beauties of the mountains. That night around the campfire my heart filled with gratitude to see all of our family together in this beautiful camp with stars hanging low in the clear sky. I was so proud of Naoma my wife who carried her little 5 weeks old baby in a shawl, tied to her shoulders, down that steep rugged trail as though it were nothing. All of our family were gathered around waiting for family prayer and I realized that I had not heard one word of complaint from anyone except baby Anthony did cry a little.

I announced that I was going Turkey hunting early in the morning and Mary said that it was her turn to go with me. Kiko was interested in getting his mule and exploring the country where he had not been.

At first light Mary and I were walking down the wide river canyon stopping occasionally to call and listen for and answering Gobble. We were walking along quietly and suddenly a booming gobble sounded just ahead of us. We looked quickly around for some cover and found none close. Near us was a big rock protruding out of the ground. It was about 3 feet high and four feet wide and got a little wider at the other end about 15 feet away. We squatted down behind this rock at a disadvantage because we could not see what the Turkey was doing. I got the Twelve Gage Shot Gun ready and handed it to Mary. I gave a few appealing chirps on my wing bone but no answer came. I could hear the big Gobbler strutting not to far away. After what seem a long time we were shaken with loud booming Gobble that sounded like he was just on the other side of that big rock. Mary handed me the big long tom Shot Gun indicating for me to shoot. I stood up quickly and without aiming fired with the end of the barrel nearly touching the Turkey's head on the other side of the rock. He was flopping around on the ground and occasionally jumping into the air when his feet contacted the ground. Just like a Turkey with it's head shot off. Mary pinned him down until the struggles ceased. We went back to camp content knowing that we would have fried Turkey breast for a few meals.

After breakfast and cleaning up the kitchen the sun began to be warm and the cold clear water of the pool began to look good. We spent the next few hours playing around in and out of the water. Naoma got out the camera and captured some of our play on film. Mary decided she was going to duck her younger brother Sam under the water. A chase ensued. A short struggle and Mary ended up under the water only to come up and continue the chase.

Later that afternoon Leland and Marge came struggling into camp. Their steps were weaving and Leland's eyes were crossed and he trembled visibly as he stumbled in to camp. He collapsed under the weight of the Turkeys he was carrying. Marge was laughing at his antics so we saw that it was alright for us to laugh also. Leland was a master of Pantomime and was famous for his comedy acts with LaSelle Taylor in every Alumni program of the Academy. All they had to do was come on stage in their costumes and their actions and facial expressions would have the audience roaring with laughter. They did this as a tradition every program until they left Dublan and moved to the USA.

While Leland and Marge were resting and having a cold drink of water they told us of their hunt that morning. They left their camp at the trucks very early and went along the high ridge west of the river. They had great success and continued on killing Turkeys until finally they had six, more than they could carry. They thought it would be much easier to come downhill to our camp than to try to carry their loads all the way back to the trucks. While they were talking we prepared them a good meal. They decided that they needed to get back home to their family and that they had had plenty of hunting for one trip. They left us one of their turkeys and saddled up and went back up with their turkeys tied onto their saddles. The cowboy went with them to bring the animals back down.

We spent the next few wonderful days enjoying each other and our special camp on the Gavilan River below the Old Bugos Ranch.

It seems that I got carried away in my memory of those wonderful trips into the Sierra Madre mountains but I am using this account to show how our love grew for each other and for the beautiful creations of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Everything in this great world of ours testifies of the great Creator Jesus Christ and his love for us. After experiences like these who can doubt the love of God for his children for he created it all for us to please the eye and gladden the heart.

  1. Yea, all things which come of the earth, in the season thereof, are made for the benefit and the use of man, both to please the eye and to gladden the heart;
  2. Yea, for food and for raiment, for taste and for smell, to strengthen the body and to enliven the soul.